Accounts Payable

Accounts Payable Automation with QuickBooks – How to Actually Do It

by Envoice
7 min read
man and woman in business conversation
Source: Pixelshot by Canva

Are you spending days entering invoice information in QuickBooks?

If manual data entry is your biggest time sinker, and you want to:

  • Use a simple QBO setup to reduce the time spent entering invoice data.
  • Stop emailing invoices to each other to request approval.
  • Automate AP while avoiding crazy expensive software.

Then this guide will help you solve this pain point for your accounting team.

Let’s dive in.

Why QuickBooks Accounting Software Can Be Extremely Frustrating for AP Teams

QuickBooks Online is easy to use, but it’s not ideal for processing hundreds of invoices. The program makes financial reporting more convenient, but it has many deficiencies.

In this post, we’ll cover solutions for QuickBooks Online. If you’re using QuickBooks Desktop, these solutions may not be appropriate for your QB version.

If you’re wondering:

  • why automating AP in QBO is necessary
  • what happens in a manual AP process in QuickBooks
  • if there are other solutions

Then, read on.

And if you’re convinced that QuickBooks AP Automation software is the best solution, move on to the next section.

No Automation Means Extra Work

Using QBO alone means entering data manually into the system. Imagine keying invoice information, one by one, for hundreds or, worse, thousands of invoices.

If that’s the case, you’ll meet two major problems.

Problem #1: Wasting Time on Invoice Entry

It takes about 12 minutes to enter one invoice. This time includes all aspects of invoice processing, such as keying data, reviewing information, and correcting errors.

In an ideal world, you can process 5 invoices an hour. If your company receives 20 invoices, you’ll likely get the job done in 4 hours.

But if you’re a growing company, you’ll be drowning in vendor invoices unless you have a sizable AP department.

Imagine processing 200 business payments a month. You’ll need one employee to sink 5 full days entering invoice data.

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But the problem with manual AP doesn’t end there.

Problem #2: Invoice Approvals That Take Too Long

QBO has no automated AP workflow. You can’t track pending and approved invoices. Automatic invoice routing is also out of the question.

So, companies using QBO have to be creative.

Some companies still route hard copies of the invoice for approval. Others use a shared online folder for all approved invoices. Makeshift systems can work, but they can be extremely frustrating and error-prone.

How to Solve AP Issues In QBO

intuit quickbooks

If you’re looking to modernize invoice processing, you have two options:

#1. Upgrade to a better system that supports Accounts Payable automation.

Is QBO still serving your business needs? Automation solves part of the problem, but there’s no point in sticking to an accounting package you have outgrown. If QBO is causing problems, not just in accounts payable but also in other aspects of the operation – consider upgrading.

#2. Automate AP for QuickBooks.

Bonus Tip: Set up payment automation and enable electronic payments.

If you have not already, set up ACH payments and other electronic payments for your QBO account. Paying through eChecks is a major time-saver.

Complete Guide to AP Automation for QuickBooks Online

If you’re certain that QuickBooks is still the right accounting software for you, but you’re struggling with invoice processing, then it’s time for automation.

When you do, you’re accounting team can:

  • Leave the job they hate – data entry – to intelligent bots
  • Spend more time cleansing, correcting, and reviewing invoice data
  • Focus on strategic tasks that you can’t automate

AP automation was not a built-in feature for QuickBooks Online, but that’s changing. QBO has finally added new features to improve accounts payable processing.

But how do you do it?

Use 3 ways to automate invoice processing with QBO.

accounts payable staff
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1. Use QuickBooks Business Network

Connecting to the QuickBooks Business Network allows you to [1]:

  • Send invoices to customers
  • Receive bills directly into QuickBooks
  • Keep contact details for connections up to date

Managing Bills Received Through the QuickBooks Business Network

All bills received through the network appear on the bills page. To get there, follow these steps:

  1. Click on Get paid & Pay
  2. Choose Bills
  3. Go to the For Review tab to see all pending bills

Review Bills in QBO

You will see a “Review Bill” option that allows you to:

  • Review and edit invoice details
  • Choose the account or category
  • Delete, save, or schedule payment.

Some accounts may not have this feature yet, but it will be available for QuickBooks Online Advanced, Plus, and Essentials accounts.

2. Capture and Manage Receipts With QuickBooks AP Automation Tools

QuickBooks introduced new ways to get invoices and bills into the system. With this new feature, you can:

  • Snap a photo of the receipt with the mobile app
  • Upload a PDF or image through the online portal
  • Send the invoice as an email attachment to a QBO inbox

QuickBooks can extract data from the invoices and receipts so it’s ready for review.[2]. You can manage receipts under the For Review tab under Get paid & Pay > Bills.

3. Connect AP Automation Solutions With QuickBooks

If data entry is the only problem, methods 1 and 2 should solve the problem. However, if you are looking to:

  • Have a single approval workflow to track all invoices
  • Know invoice status in real-time
  • Request for approval from multiple approvers and store communication in one system
  • Remind approvers about pending supplier invoices
  • Stop making late vendor payments because the invoice took too long to approve
  • Create business rules to approve certain invoices automatically

Then, using a third-party solution for automating accounts payable for online QuickBooks accounts may be the better option.

You can select a tool that integrates with QuickBooks to automate accounts payable. Unlike built-in tools available with your QBO subscription, third-party tools enable an automated invoice approval process.

Since AP automation tools have different types and features. The price range also varies across providers.

bill.com

Bill.com is one of the most popular tools to automate accounts payable processes in QuickBooks. You’ll get access to several features that could improve accounts payable processing. However, Bill.com is on the expensive side.

If you’re looking for a simple and affordable accounts payable automation software solution, check out Envoice.

envoice expense management

Envoice has a subscription-based payment, but it’s more affordable than other solutions. It’s simple to use and easy to set up. There’s a small subscription fee that includes 30 free documents per month.

Eliminate AP’s Biggest Time Sinkers With Envoice

Accounts payable automation with Envoice comes with many benefits. Envoice works like the QuickBooks App, but it does so much more:

  • Extracting data
  • Putting invoice data into QuickBooks
  • Routing invoices to approvers or substitute approvers
  • Alerting and reminding approvers of any invoices needing attention
  • Keeping a clear audit log
  • Approving invoices on customized

All these features make it easy to switch over to paperless AP and eliminate inefficiencies.

Envoice supports integration with QuickBooks accounts. With this feature, you can push data extracted from paper and electronic invoices into your accounting package. This saves time and boosts productivity.

Try the Envoice AP automation tool for yourself. Enter your email address to Start Using Envoice for FREE.

Footnotes:

[1] https://quickbooks.intuit.com/learn-support/en-us/help-article/vendor-management/learn-quickbooks-business-network/L8RZ42iRj_US_en_US

[2] https://quickbooks.intuit.com/learn-support/en-us/track-receipts/email-receipts-to-quickbooks-online/00/243869

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